ODSONNE Edouard was a limited participant at Celtic’s training session at Lennoxtown yesterday as manager Neil Lennon remained hopeful his star striker will be fit to play in Sunday’s BetFred Cup final against Rangers at Hampden.

The 21-year-old Frenchman was one of a number of players returning to action after injury yesterday – the group contained Olivier Ntcham, Boli Bolingoli, Jonny Hayes, and Mohamed Elyounoussi – but of these only Ntcham is likely to feature in the home Premiership encounter against Hamilton Accies tonight.

There could also be a role for Leigh Griffiths although the Northern Irishman seems likely to stick to the front players who have scored seven goals in two games in their French talisman’s absence.


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One man who definitely won’t make Sunday’s showdown is Israeli full back Hatem Elhamed, which means that Lennon must go with the precocious Jeremie Frimpong or Austrian international Moritz Bauer at right back for the first showpiece of the season. The equation at left back is tricky too, with Greg Taylor cup tied and both Bolingoli and Hayes playing their way back into fitness.

First things first, though, and a meeting against the Accies where Lennon is sure his players won’t take their eye off the ball. “Ntcham trained today so he is in contention for tomorrow, and Bolingoli, Hayes, Edouard, Elyounoussi were all out there doing some work. Tomorrow is probably too soon for them but they have a very good chance for Sunday. We still don’t know if he [Edouard] will be okay. We have to be careful with that one. The season doesn’t stop on Sunday win or lose and we’ve got to be mindful of that.”

“I don’t think they are in that [sloppy] mind of thinking,” he added. “We will be strong tomorrow, really strong. Then we can adapt to what happens after that for Sunday. But our focus is definitely on Hamilton. All the other talk, I get it, it is a huge game coming up, but we are not giving it much thought at the minute, other than a bit of prep work we always do for the next one coming up. We can’t take the foot off the gas and to be fair we haven’t.”